The importance of social networking for eMags

October 21, 2009

Social

Facebook:

Global audience:
305,577,640

Largest users:
1. United States 90,579,320
2. United Kingdom 21,537,820
5. Canada 13,022,640
8. Australia 7,101,920

Average user has 130 friends on the site

More than 10 million users become fans of Pages each day

More than 14 million videos uploaded each month

More than 2 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) shared each week

More than 45 million active user groups exist on the site

Every month, more than 70% of Facebook users engage with Platform applications

More than 250 applications have more than one million monthly active users

More than 15,000 websites, devices and applications have implemented Facebook Connect since its general availability in December 2008

Twitter:

Daily page views 390 million

Daily visitors 58 million

13th largest website on the internet

YouTube:

4.4 billion daily page views

300 million daily visitors

4th largest site

Stumbleupon:

28 miilion daily page views

4.7 million daily visitors

Digg:

57 million page views per day

10 millions daily visitors

That’s a pretty thin selection of stats really but gives you an idea of just how massive these sites have become. The smallest stat there is 4.7 million daily users. That’s an incredible number for anything, anywhere. Nearly 5 million people all focusing on one thing.

Magazines have started to take notice of these sites and are slowly and clumsily climbing on board. They pump RSS feeds into Twitter, they stick any old shite onto YouTube and sites like Digg or Stumbleupon are left to next year. Maybe.

The number of people sharing website url’s is staggering, in email and web its incalculable. The amount of people who send videos recommendations and pictures goes into billions. Billions no less.

Lets not loose site of how large these numbers are.

For an interactive magazine to launch, thrive and survive these sites (and many more) need to be taken advantage of. They can all be used to drive people to your magazine and enforce your brand. And in nearly all cases they are free.

Not only can they drive people to your mag, giving you high open rates which can subsequently develop more revenue. But they can also provide content, news, word of mouth, awesome SEO and also help develop a sense of community among your readership – something magazines used to have back in the day, but not anymore.

I would not launch an eMag without a sound and substantial social network plan in place, it’s just crazy. If you don’t have time then find someone that does, get a work experience kid or an intern. Better yet get a 16 year old kid with a big mouth. Those little douchebags know these sites inside out (you’re getting old don’t forget).

Use YouTube and video upload sites to post half a video with a link and a web url at the beginning and end, and the promise of seeing the whole vid inside the mag, and without the obligatory watermark.

Use Twitter to drive people to specific pages “Did you miss our exclusive Palm Pre review? url…)

If you’re out on a shoot or a press even Tweet whilst you go, use TwitPic to post teasers. If it fits your style, you can also post videos straight to YouTube.

Use Twitter to promote feedback. Post polls or questions, set challenges to get people chatting about you

Make sure your eMags have Digg and Stumbleupon icons easily accessible (like eDition offers within it browser).

Use podcasts and video casts if you have time. Make them entertaining and you’ll stand a good chance of getting a good download rate. Total Film’s videocast has done great guns recently, an excellent bit promotion whilst really upholding editorial principles and personality.

Forums are an excellent way to promote your magazines. iMotor has a great thing going by featuring simple Flash based games within a magazine page. The game relates to a recent motoring news topic and the gets posted on a few forums, and before you know it, it’s gone around like wild fire.

Facebook has become mandatory in 100 countries. Well not quite but it’s an immense resource. A friend of mine recently started a fan page for the Lions Rugby Tour, within weeks he had 10,000 “fans” all of whom are contactable via mail. All of whom can also see your updates and posted links… directing to your magazine.

Use social networks as much as you can. Use it to promote your products but also to create a brand, to get across your editorial opinions and personality  to create a following.

In the absense of Flash on the iPhone social networks are a great tool to keep your readers in the loop and entice them into visiting when they find something capable of Flash (ie, everything else!).

It’s all about open rates and getting subscribers to your ever important email list.

Don’t underestimate the power of social networking. Or the Force, that’s pretty powerful as well.

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